attention and engagement as incentives to misbehave

I've been gone for a while, but kept thinking about Gemini and what it may mean to write here compared to write somewhere else.

There's an influence war out there. Everyone (brands, influencers, even individuals with an opinion) want a piece of your attention.

You have to infer the incentives for every statement you read online.

The more polished, well-produced a piece is, the more likely there's some interest behind it.

The more money someone has spent in pushing an idea, the more you have to question it.

In fact, ideas now propagate on social networks in a way that is proportional to engagement. So everyone is optimizing for engagement.

And what is engagement? Well, it's the force that keeps users glued to the screen, and it's correlated with... get this... frustration!

Game designers don't optimize for enjoyment, they optimize for frustration because that drives engagement. Social media too. A tweet with lots of retweets is likely incendiary, and spiking strong negative emotions in people.

This is not exclusive of the digital world: pubs are desgined to get people frustrated (that they cannot talk to each other, cannot get the attention of girls, etc) so that they consume more alcohol.

Enter gemspace. Nothing here is designed to capture and retain attention. Which means conversations are real, low-pressure. Nobody is faking and flexing (like on instagram lol).

This is extremely valuable. It's a bit sad that we humans can only maintain this valuable environment in circumstances like gemspace: there's not much attention (no eyeballs) so no attention whoring. I wonder if anyone is working on a recipe that would produce the same benefits while still getting more eyeballs on what we write. That would be revolutionary.


Proxied from the at